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The Lion's Share: A New Year's Resolution for Hamilton

By Matt Jelly
Published January 03, 2012

Jelly is a local artist, graphic designer and map maker living in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario in the Central Neighbourhood. Matt is an advocate for built heritage, toxic waste eradication and the revitalization of downtown Hamilton. www.mattjelly.com

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 07:57:35

What a hopeful yet haunting video.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted January 06, 2012 at 10:26:44 in reply to Comment 72670

Really?

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 11:08:01

Excellent video Matt! I'll even wager you composed, performed and recorded your own soundtrack. Fantastic!

You have been an inspiration for me ever since we met at the Royal Connaught/Ottawa Street North BIA Garbage crawls a few years back and I would be inspired once again by your marvelous video if IT weren't for one simple fact: I'm movin' outta here Jack!

Reason #1: No decent jobs for highly skilled and unemployed half-century-old men.

Reason #2: A Wal-Mart has been approved for the head of the Ottawa Street North BIA at the COB (Centre On Barton) this spring.

Reason #3: My lovely neighbor's landscaping Crawling With Garbage JPG Image

Best of luck cleaning up this city my friend.

Cheers

Comment edited by WRCU2 on 2012-01-03 11:15:12

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 12:22:05

Huzzah! Well said, Matt.

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By RB (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 12:31:41

Hey Matt,

What does a map maker do?

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 13:26:04 in reply to Comment 72676

That relates to another project I've been working on: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=...

I've been designing neighbourhood maps, the plan is to design one for all of the named neighbourhoods in Hamilton, as per the City's neighbourhood boundaries. I have the lower City done so far, the mountain is next. I've been having fun with it.

Comment edited by MattJelly on 2012-01-03 13:28:46

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2012 at 09:49:18 in reply to Comment 72679

Neat. What software are you using for these maps?

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 11:09:23 in reply to Comment 72738

Adobe Illustrator.

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By Tecumseh (registered) | Posted January 03, 2012 at 15:50:54 in reply to Comment 72679

Great video Matt. And great maps too, although I have to say I think the city neighbourhood designations are frequently arbitrary and meaningless. In some cases, like Corktown or Stinson, or the North End, they match up with what exists in the minds of residents. But in other cases they're completely useless. For instance, does anyone say they're from "Crown Point East" or "Crown Point West"? Wouldn't they just say "Ottawa Street"? And with the city designated neighbourhoods (like Crown Point), neighbourhood focal points like Ottawa Street or James street often become boundaries, rather than centres, of neighbourhoods.

I rather like the Ork Posters map of Toronto neighbourhoods, where the "official" neighbourhoods were jettisoned in favour of what exists in the psyches of locals. It's a bit subjective, but I think more meaningful than the official city boundaries. (I'm actually presently working on a map for Hamilton similar to the Ork Posters, although it's just for fun, mostly just for myself, I don't expect I'll print any up for distribution).

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 05, 2012 at 09:53:44 in reply to Comment 72690

To me the most obviously bad ones are the Mountain, but a problem exists with all the neighborhood designations: The whole orientation used for naming them is wrong anyways - each rectangle that is surrounded by major roads has a name... but that's not even how people think. People identify a neighborhood by its nearest major intersection or major road. Using the major roads as a boundary means it feels completely backwards. It's worse on the mountain, but it exists throughout the city.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2012-01-05 09:57:55

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 18:48:50 in reply to Comment 72690

Thanks- I agree, some of the neighbourhoods are named/divided oddly. If you look at the City's map, there are large portions of the City simply labelled "INDUSTRIAL", even though some of those actually include residential streets.

It's funny, I just started out planning only to do one of the Central neighbourhood, then I thought it kind of looked neat so I did Beasley... and so on and so on. I'm still thinking of a number of ways I can apply them, beyond selling prints.

I'm going to be revising the map as time goes on to more accurately reflect generally-accepted boundaries, based mostly on how residents are planning in each neighbourhood. I'm just using the City's official map as a metric for now, but it's all in vectors and I can update it as I go. I'm also thinking about doing a historical street map at some point too.

Thanks for posting the link to the Ork maps, those are neat!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted January 03, 2012 at 17:23:59 in reply to Comment 72690

Ah, yes. The question of neighbourhoods. And what to call them.

The truth is that for the vast majority of people in Hamilton, 'neighbourhood identity' is non-existent. Take a look at the official list of neighbourhood and community associations as recognized by the City: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/4F41...

And, for a visual representation of all neighbourhoods: http://map.hamilton.ca/Static/PDFs/Gener...

Granted, this is a subjectively-charged conversation, but I will always side with tradition and heritage. As you drive or walk around Norfolk, VA, you'll see the nice neighbourhood signs denoting where you are. Do the people there habitually refer to these areas this way? Not necessarily. But I'm pretty reluctant to concede that what happens to be 'popular' right now is sufficient an argument when there's actually a fair amount at play; for me, our neighbourhoods and their attached associations are fundamental to the required increased civic engagement. (Hamilton already has in motion efforts to make the most of improving the city via neighbourhood hubs...and they've already gotten it 'wrong' in several instances.)

People are free to say where they're from...Ottawa Street, or the such...but because so many neighbourhoods in the city aren't even represented, or even recognized, my vote would be to embrace our history and bring it forward as we construct a new future.

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By Santorum Sanitorium (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 11:36:30

[URL=http://www.gourleypark.com/]Gourley![/URL]

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 04, 2012 at 17:39:34

Hey Matt,

I had some maps framed for friends - they were a big hit. It kind of has a monopoly feel - don't know if that is what you were going for. Btw, there is a mistake on the Westdale North map - Uplands Ave. is mislabelled. Please correct it so that my incorrect copy becomes a rare collector's edition...lolz

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By MattJelly (registered) - website | Posted January 07, 2012 at 11:10:50 in reply to Comment 72723

Oops- I'll fix that on my working copy! Thanks for pointing it out.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 05, 2012 at 07:47:41

Love the idea of the neighbourhood maps. Going to pick one up this weekend for Corktown since that's where I am.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 23, 2012 at 23:33:41

Meant to post this the other day. Went down to Mixed Media twice in as many weeks and haven't been able to find a copy of the map of Corktown. Spoke with a guy in the shop and he said it'll be a couple of weeks until they're reprinted. Any idea on the timeline of availability?

PS - looks like the majority of the stuff that was in the store was for the west end - most of hte downtown stuff was gone - things like Corktown, Beasley, Durand were not there!

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By jcw (registered) | Posted January 29, 2012 at 13:02:03

I'm looking forward to your map of Centremount, when you get to the Mountain maps. Excellent video--and it was a pleasure meeting you, albeit momentarily, at the Central Neighbourhood Association meeting at Mulberry Coffeehouse a few months ago.

Joshua

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